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We asked federal officials about coronavirus and the CDP. Here are their answers

Infectious disease training at CDP

Trainees wear protective suits as they transport a simulated infectious disease patient down a hallway to a treatment room at Center for Domestic Preparedness in November 2019. The CDP regularly trains first responders to deal with health emergencies; on Feb. 22, 2020 the federal government announced that actual evacuees from a coronavirus-infected cruise ship would be housed at the center.  (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

The Anniston Star posed several questions to officials of the Department of Health and Human Services after the department announced Saturday that coronavirus evacuees would be sent to the Center for Domestic Preparedness. Among their responses was an email with answers in a question-and-answer format. Here’s the text of the email:

Why CDP? The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response - ASPR – at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been working with FEMA’s CDP for years to train medical personnel on emergency management. Because of this relationship, we were familiar with the facilities and the center’s capabilities. Hosting evacuees in one of the CDP dorms allows the federal government to protect health and, at the same time, keep hospitals beds open for people who actually need them, such as people who are hospitalized with severe cases of the flu.

Why release info on a Saturday? To be transparent, we wanted to the community to be aware of the steps the federal government is taking to help control the spread of this virus.

How long are they staying? When each evacuee is medically cleared, they can complete the 14-day quarantine at another location. Keep in mind that the evacuees will be isolated in the dorm, away from CDP trainees, staff, and the community. Our medical staff will be following CDC’s clinical guidance for healthcare professionals to prevent the virus from spreading.

How are the people getting to CDP, and how will they get there without transmitting virus? The evacuees will be flown in a small plane to Anniston and will ride in a federally arranged vehicle from the airport to the dorm. The planes and vehicles will be cleaned and sanitized, carefully following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How many people will be housed at CPD? That number may vary. The dorm has approximately 48 rooms available.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services